san francisco

22 articles
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No Exit: Struggling to Survive a Modern Gold Rush

The dark side of startup life in Silicon Valley.

An extended version of this story is available as an ebook.

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'Uncle Leland'

Leland Yee was a career San Francisco politician known for championing open government and gun control. For the last few years, he was also the main target of an elaborate undercover investigation, during which he traded political favors for cash, tried to sell $2 million worth of weapons to a medical marijuana kingpin and worked closely with well-known Chinatown gangster named Raymond “Shrimp Boy” Chow.

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The Houseboat Summit

An extended conversation on the problem of whether to “drop out or take over” conducted on Alan Watts’ houseboat, the S.S. Vallejo.

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A Toast Story

“More than a café, the shop is a carpentered-together, ingenious mechanism—a specialized tool—designed to keep Carrelli tethered to herself.”

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My Life With the Thrill-Clit Cult

Investigating San Francisco’s OneTaste, which promises personal and professional success through the practice of orgasmic meditation.

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America’s Worst Community Colleges

On the dysfunctional community colleges of San Francisco.

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SF Plane Crash: Responders Turned Chaos Into Hope

With the first on the scene of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 disaster.

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The Story of an Eyewitness

A first-hand account of San Francisco in the hours and days after the devastating 1906 earthquake.

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What Do You Desire?

The writer, entering her thirties single and adrift, heads to San Francisco to spend time with Kink.com’s Princess Donna Dolore and attend a gangbang “where all the men were dressed as panda bears.”

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Mad Max

A profile of Max Wade, a Marin County teenager on trial for stealing Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini and using it in the first drive-by in the history of Mill Valley, California.

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Google Invades

Boomtown San Francisco, as seen from the “Google Bus.”

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How Much Tech Can One City Take?

How a burgeoning tech workforce swallowed San Francisco.

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The White Album

“I am talking here about a time when I began to doubt the premises of all the stories I had ever told myself, a common condition but one I found troubling.”

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Playing Doc's Games

Surfing San Francisco with a true believer.

Part of our collection of stories on surfing for Slate.
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Local Bounty

Visiting his daughter in San Francisco, the author longs for food delivery in Manhattan.

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Suddenly That Summer

The people behind San Francisco’s Summer of Love.

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Operation Midnight Climax

How the CIA, under a program called MK-ULTRA, used a San Francisco apartment to dose johns with LSD.

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The Robin Hood of the East Bay

She was the biggest tipper the waiters at some of the country’s most gourmet restaurants had ever seen. She treated casual acquaintances to elaborate vacations. Few saw the tiny bungalow where she lived amongst hundreds of boxes of unopened jewelry, and none knew the source of her wealth. When her multi-decade embezzlement scheme was revealed, the artisans and waitstaff whose lives had been changed by her generosity were left to sort out the pieces and consider their own relationship to her scam.

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The Life and Death of Richard Brautigan

His friends remembered when Richard became famous. It was the year the hippies came to San Francisco. Richard had published one novel, A Confederate General from Big Sur, but it had sold miserably 743 copies and his publisher, Grove Press, had dropped its option on Trout Fishing in America. Donald Allen was the West Coast representative of Grove and the editor of the Evergreen Review, which had introduced the Beat Generation. Allen had a small nonprofit press called the Four Seasons Foundation, and he decided to publish the book himself. Allen sold 29,000 copies of the book before Delacorte bought it. Eventually, 2 million copies were sold. It was the kind of book that captured the spirit and sound of a generation. Soon there was a commune and an underground newspaper and even a school named after Trout Fishing in America. His short stories and poems appeared regularly in Rolling Stone, often beneath a photograph of him in his broad-brimmed hat. His face became a hippie icon. "For three or four years, he was like George Harrison walking down Haight Street," remembered Don Carpenter, a novelist and scriptwriter and a longtime friend of Richard's. His image infuriated what Richard called the East Coast literary mafia.
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Jumpers

The fatal allure of the Golden Gate Bridge and why it doesn’t have a barrier to thwart potential leapers.

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The Great West Coast Newspaper War

Murderous editors, allegations of insanity, connections to the Church of Satan, illegal predatory-pricing schemes, and more than $21 million on the line—the crazy alt-weekly war in San Francisco has it all.